Modernist Back On Top in G3 Excelsior
Uncle Mo’s Grade II winner Modernist (4c Uncle Mo x Symbolic Gesture, by Bernardini) earned another graded stakes victory on Saturday with a win in the Grade III Excelsior Stakes.
Making his second start of the year, the Bill Mott trainee went off as the race favorite in the 1 1/8 mile Aqueduct race and was always within reach of the lead. Racing two paths from the rail just off the leader, jockey Junior Alvarado let his mount get comfortable down the backstretch.
As they entered the stretch, Modernist entered a brief duel with the leader before that one gave in. Only one horse was able to stay close to Modernist down the stretch but Modernist was never in any serious danger as he won by 2 ½ lengths with the rest of the field over six lengths behind.
“This horse has been effective near the lead in the past,” said Mott’s assistant Leana Willaford. “We told Junior ‘Don’t take anything away coming easy.’ I was really happy with him. He’s matured both physically and mentally. I think he’s going to have a good year.”
A homebred for Pam and Martin Wygod, Modernist has won or placed in four of his six graded stakes attempts. A third generation homebred for the Wygods, he is a grandson of their Broodmare of the Year Sweet Life. In addition to his unraced dam, that mare also produced Champion 2-Year-Old Filly Sweet Catomine, multiple Grade I winner Life Is Sweet, and stakes winner Calimonco.
Modernist is breed on the same Uncle Uncle x Bernardini mare cross as three other stakes horses, led by Uncle Mo’s studmate and Grade I winning son Mo Town.